The Exile!

In the Ramayana, when Lord Rama agrees to go into exile and proceeds to the forest for stay of fourteen long years, Sita too gives up all the luxuries she was accustomed to; she braves the perils of jungle life, for the sake of being in the presence of Rama. She renounced desire from her heart for the sole goal of Rama.

Thirteen years she spent with the Lord, in perfect bliss, as a consequence of the sacrifice she dared to make. Then, quite suddenly, desire sprouted in her mind, and carried her away, far away from the Lord! She saw a golden deer, and she coveted it.

She who had renounced huge treasures of gold and diamond was attracted by a fantasy and this led to the agonizing separation. So too, for those long attached to Me, there arises some desire – for lands, jobs, family life, fame, position, possessions – and they move away! But Sita repented for her mistake, and her mind suffered extreme anguish at the separation.

She called on her Lord to redeem her, calling out in contrition, “Rama, Rama, Rama”, with every breath. And, finally Rama Himself moved towards her and restored Himself to the devotee! So too, if you are agonizingly repentant and aware of the loss and anxious to rejoin, craving for the presence, this Sairam too will move towards you and grant you Grace.

So long as you are tied to Kama (Desire), you cannot hope to get Rama (God). This does not mean that you have to renounce the world. If desire comes, analyze it. If it is good for you and not harmful to others, go ahead. If not good put it aside at once. If you are uncertain, do nothing until the uncertainty is clarified. Limit your desires to your capacity, and have only those that will grant lasting joy. Don’t waste money, don’t waste energy, don’t waste food and don’t waste time. This is what is meant by ceiling on desires. Desire is an insubstantial shadow; turn desire inward towards spiritual treasure and it will yield substantial results.